As Citizen Justice Network (CJN) one of our duties is to advise communities on how to get the best possible health treatment without discrimination. We also want to create awareness around mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety and combat the stigma surrounding them.
South Africa’s leading mental health advocacy group, the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) reports that “more than 17 million people in South Africa are dealing with depression, substance abuse, anxiety, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia — illnesses that round out the top five mental health diagnoses according to the Mental Health Federation of South Africa”. Symptoms of depression can include: apathy, sadness, headaches, low self-esteem, social withdrawal, insomnia and impaired concentration.
In black communities mental health is often a taboo and is subjected to a lot of stigma. This prevents early diagnosis and treatment.
The Mental Health Act
The purpose of the Mental Health Act is to prevent any form of discrimination towards people who are facing the challenges outlined above. Mental health challenges can affect a person at any point in their life, at any stage and at any level.
According to the Act, “the purpose is to regulate mental health care so that the best possible treatment and rehabilitation services are made available to citizens. It aims to coordinate access to services and to make sure that mental health care services become a part of the general health system”.
The Act provides:
- Care, treatment and rehabilitation of persons who are mentally ill.
- To set out ethical regulatory procedure for admission and treatment of such persons.
- To review mental health establishments and proper administration.
If you are experiencing symptoms of depression kindly contact the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) the following numbers:
Mental Health Line: 011-234-4837
Depression Helpline: 0800 456 789
Suicide Crisis Line: 0800 567 567
Support Group: 0800 21 22 23
You can also visit our website on www.citizenjusticenetwork.org for information on our advice offices and paralegals around the country that can also help you with more information. Alternatively you can WhatsApp us on 060 634 7542.
information sourced from:https://ossafrica.com/esst/index.php?title=Summary_of_the_Mental_Health_Care_Act%2C_no._17_of_2002